1707829437 Seven and a half years in prison for two jihadists

Seven and a half years in prison for two jihadists accused of forming a “front” in Spanish prisons | Spain

Facade of the National Court, in a picture from 2023.Facade of the National Court, in a picture from 2023. Samuel Sánchez

The National Court has sentenced Mohamed El Gharbi and Karim Abdeselam to seven and a half years in prison for sending letters to prisoners convicted of jihadism to keep them together while they themselves were serving sentences for terrorist crimes. Having already acquitted them twice for the same crimes, the court finally ruled on Monday that both were part of the so-called “prison front”, a group of “radical Muslim” inmates who carried out “proselytism” work in the centers. Prisons so that the Islamist inmates do not give up the extremist “ideology” and “continue the fight after their release”.

As outlined in the judges' decision, between 2014 and 2019, while serving sentences in Spanish prisons for crimes of belonging to a terrorist organization, El Gharbi and Karim Abdeselam – along with Abderrahmanen Tahiri, also known as Mohamed Achraf, is on the run of justice – “to unite the prisoners imprisoned for crimes related to jihadist terrorism and to guide them so that they do not abandon this ideology.” To this end, they developed a system of mutual support “through dispatch of letters with flags and emblems of the terrorist organization Daesh; as well as nasheeds (songs used by jihadist terrorist organizations to encourage and praise the actions of combatants and militants); and religious texts to which they gave the strict interpretation suitable to their purposes.”

The judges conclude that their goal was to “form a compact group that fights for Islamic terrorism in every form and in every place, both inside and outside the prison.” In addition, according to the verdict, the defendants also decided “not to limit their actions to those convicted of crimes related to jihadist terrorism” but also to “instruct” new followers of their “violent ideology” by “creating.” radicalize and win.” and dissemination of messages and slogans related to the terrorist organization’s postulates.”

More information

The court finds Mohamed El Gharbi and Karim Abdeselam guilty of the crime of recruiting and indoctrinating terrorists. A third defendant, Abdelah Abdeselam Ahmed, was acquitted: “Since the letters he sent to other inmates contained warlike and strict content from a religious and ideological point of view, but did not contain slogans, emblems or drawings of the terrorist organization Daesh that permit this. “I state without a doubt that he wanted to instruct other inmates to commit terrorist acts,” the court explains.

This sentence represents another chapter in a complicated legal case. The two people convicted this Monday (Mohamed El Gharbi and Karim Abdeselam) and the acquitted one (Abdelah Abdeselam Ahmed) were already sitting on the bench in July 2022 alongside Abderrahmanen Tahiri and Lahcen Zamzami was accused of forming the jihadist “prison front”. During the hearing, the parties withdrew the charges against Zamzami and the court – composed of judges Teresa Palacios, Carmen Paloma González and Juan Francisco Martel – acquitted the rest, concluding that their letters did not contribute to the commission of “terrorist acts.” Actions” urged.

What influences the most is what happens next. So you don't miss anything, subscribe.

Subscribe to

However, the Court's Appeals Chamber overturned this judgment and ordered the trial court to issue a new order because there were “contradictions between the proven facts and the legal classification.” But again these judges issued a second verdict of acquittal, which the Appeals Chamber again overturned; ordered that the trial should be repeated with new judges. However, Abderrahmanen Tahiri disappeared before this hearing. And the new court (composed of judges Ángela Murillo, Jesús Eduardo Gutiérrez and Fermín Javier Echarri Casi) convicted two of the defendants and acquitted the third.

Subscribe to continue reading

Read without limits